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Stolen Lives Project
Stolen Lives Project
The Stolen Lives Project was created to raise awareness and educate the community about the pervasive violence and lack of inclusion towards transgender and gender non conforming individuals. My art envisions a world where it doesn't matter what you look like, who you love or how you self identify. End transviolence. #IWILLNOTSTANDBY

Zella Ziona
Zella Ziona
Zella Ziona
Was killed October 15, 2015. Her death marked the 21st murder of a transgender person in the U.S. for the year 2015. Rico Leblond was arrested for her murder and a mistrial was declared in January 2017. “Transgender people face discrimination, harassment and violence in numerous context of their lives” (HRC, pg 5. 2015). There have been 80 known transgender victims of fatal violence since 2013. Stop Transphobic Violence. Stand with me. I ask you to say their name, say their name and STAND UP and "fight against anti-transgender violence before it starts" (Broadus, pg. 3, 2015).

Made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and is administered by the Huntington Arts Council, Inc.

Alejandra Leos
Alejandra Leos
Ajelandra Leos
Was killed September 5, 2014. She was fatally shot while trying to leave her Memphis, TN home after an alleged argument with her boyfriend. Marshall Pegues was charged with her murder. “In 2014, at least 13 transgender people were murdered in the U.S". The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey reveals, more than half (54%) of people surveyed experienced some form of intimate partner violence, including acts involving coercive control and physical harm. Stop Intimate Partner Violence. Stand with me. I ask you to say their name, say their name and STAND UP and become a transgender ally.

Made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and is administered by the Huntington Arts Council, Inc. and the Puffin West Foundation.

Breana Gizzy Fowler
Breana Gizzy Fowler
Breana "Gizzy" Fowler
Was killed November 10, 2014 after an intimate encounter with Mallory Porter. Porter recently took a deal and is now serving a 15 year sentence. Breana graduated from Pearl Cohn High School in Nashville,TN and worked two jobs.

Stop Transphobic Violence. Stand with me. I ask you to say their name, say their name and STAND UP and "fight against anti-transgender violence before it starts" (Broadus, pg. 3, 2015).


"This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Huntington Arts Council and Puffin Foundation West."

Ty Underwood
Ty Underwood
Ty Underwood, age 24 was murdered on January 26, 2015. She was a nursing student and worked as a nurse assistant in Tyler, Texas. Her boyfriend was arrested and charged in her death. He was recently given a life sentence for her murder. While there are instances where transgender people have been attacked in bias motivated attacks by strangers, many victims of fatal violence die at the hands of those closest to them. At least 23% of the transgender people murdered in 2015 were killed by intimate partners.

Stop Intimate Partner Violence. Stand with me. I will post a painting of a victim periodically to share their story. I ask you to say their name, say their name and STAND UP and become a transgender ally.

"This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Huntington Arts Council and Puffin Foundation West."

Mercedes Williamson
Mercedes Williamson
Mercedes Williamson, age 17 decomposed body was found in a wooded area June 2, 2015. Her murderer, a gang member feared that if his relationship was discovered by his gang-they both would be killed. He drove her 50 miles away, used a stun gun, & stabbed her. When she ran, he chased her down and beat her with a hammer. He was charged and convicted of a hate crime.

Stop Intimate Partner Violence. Stand with me. I will post a painting of a victim periodically to share their story. I ask you to say their name, say their name and STAND UP and become a transgender ally.

"This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Huntington Arts Council and Puffin Foundation West."

Kayden Clarke
Kayden Clarke
Kayden Clarke
Kayden had Asperger syndrome, a form of autism and allegedly suffered from post traumatic stress and suicidal ideation. On February 4, 2016 Kayden, age 24-year-old from Meza, Arizona, was shot and killed by police in his home. A friend called police to conduct a wellness check at his residence because she feared he might kill himself. Despite carrying stun guns, Meza police opened fire on Clarke who they allege lunged at them with a knife.

Stand with me to end violence against the transgender community. I will post a painting of a victim periodically to share their story. I ask you to say their name, say their name and STAND UP and become a transgender ally.

'This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Huntington Arts Council and Puffin Foundation West.'

Blake Brockington
Blake Brockington
Blake Brockington, age 18 succumbed to suicide March 23, 2015. His family was not supportive so Blake lived with a foster family during his transition. He received national recognition when he became the first out transgender homecoming King at East Mecklenburg High School in North Carolina. Shortly after his win he said, 'That was single-handedly the hardest part of my trans journey. Really hateful things were said on the Internet. It was hard. I saw how narrow-minded the world really is.'

He was a transgender advocate and became to publicly speak out about police brutality against blacks and on issues impacting LGBT youth.

In his obituary, Brockington's family, still unaccepting of his identity as a transgender male, used female pronouns and referred to him by the name they had given to him at birth.

Teach your children tolerance, love and understanding for those who are 'perceived' by society as different. Our thoughts become words, our words become actions and those actions can lead to fatal acts of violence against an already marginalized an oppressed population...

STOP BULLYING....Stand with me. I will post a painting of a victim periodically to share their story. I ask you to say their name, say their name and STAND UP and become a transgender ally.

'This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Huntington Arts Council and Puffin West Foundation.'

Untitled I
Untitled I
This image represents the internal struggle that most transgender and gender non conforming individuals encounter based on a box that society forces us to check. I challenge viewers to speak against gender stereotypes and become an LGBT ally.

Keisha Jenkins
Keisha Jenkins
Keisha Jenkins, a 22-year-old transgender woman from Philadelphia, was beaten and shot to death by a group of four to five men Tuesday, October 6, 2015 around 2:30 am. Police believe one of the attackers pulled a gun and fired two shots into Jenkins' back while she was on the ground. A suspect was arrested and charged with murder, robbery and weapons charges.

Nearly a fifth of the 5,462 so called single bias hate crimes reported to the F.B.I. in 2014 were because of the targets sexual orientation, or, in some cases, their perceived orientation.

A look at four years of homicides of LGBT people cataloged by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs shows that the vast majority of those who were killed were Black or Hispanic transgender people (Park & Mykhyalshyn, 2016)

Teach your children tolerance, love and understanding for those who are "perceived" by society as different. Our thoughts become words, our words become actions and those actions can lead to fatal acts of violence against an already marginalized an oppressed population...

"This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Huntington Arts Council.

Elisha Walker
Elisha Walker
Elisha Walker, a 20-year-old transgender woman was murdered on or about October 23, 2014. Her body was found in a “crude grave” in Johnston County, North Carolina almost a year after she was reported missing by her family.

A Latin Kings gang member was arrested and charged with her murder and stealing her car. He plead guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to 19-24 years in prison. It is alleged that Walker was in an intimate relationship with her assailant.

Stop Intimate Partner Violence. Stand with me. I will post a painting of a victim periodically to share their story. I ask you to say their name, say their name and STAND UP and become a transgender ally.

"This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Huntington Arts Council.

Untitled II
Untitled II
This pervasive idea that trans women deserve violence needs to be abolished. It’s a socially sanctioned practice of blaming the victim. We must begin blaming our culture, which stigmatizes, demeans and strips trans women of their humanity. -- Janet Mock from her bestselling autobiography, 'Redefining Realness'

For looking and walking the way I do
The same hands that are supposed to protect me
You turn me away
For talking and dressing the way I do
The same arms that are supposed to hold me
You reject me
For identifying as male
For identifying as female
The same voice that is supposed to console me, affirm me, empower me
You use it to assault me
For being perceived as mentally ill, socially deviant and sexually predatory
The same mind that should be open and accepting
You fail to defend me
You erase me from your memory
The same heart that should love me unconditionally
Your heart is closed to me
You allow me to be disposable
For just being me
For just being your child, as I am-see me, as I am
Poem written by: Dr. N. L. Rivers

'This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Huntingtonn Arts Council”

JoJo Striker
JoJo Striker
JoJo Striker
Police found the body of JoJo Striker, 23, in an empty garage in Toledo, Ohio, on Feb. 8, 2017. Striker died of a single gunshot to her torso. Police still do not have a suspect or motive for her death. Initial media reports misgendered Striker.

Misgendering occurs when you intentionally or unintentionally refer to a person, relate to a person, or use language to describe a person that doesn’t align with their affirmed gender. For example, referring to a woman as “he” or calling her a “guy” is an act of misgendering.

Misgendering can also be a deliberate act. People who have discriminatory beliefs and ideas about the trans community can use misgendering as a tactic for harassment and bullying. This is evidenced by the 2015 U.S. Trans Survey, which found that 46 percent of respondents experienced verbal harassment because of their identity, and 9 percent had been physically assaulted.

'This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Huntington Arts Council.

South Nassau Unitarian Universalist Church (SNUUC) Honors the Orlando Victims
Dr. Nichelle Rivers was the featured artist at SNUUC's first Anniversary of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub Massacre.


Westbury Arts Council features Dr. Nichelle Rivers and her Stolen Lives Project
In continued celebration of LGBT pride month, we are focusing on the Stolen Lives Project by Dr. Nichelle Rivers.



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